Together Trial showing significantly lower hospitalization/extended ER visits with fluvoxamine treatment. Adherence was only 73.2%. Symptom onset was unspecified or >= 4 days for 57% of patients. The schedule of study activities specifies treatment administration only one day after randomization, adding an additional day delay. Overall mortality is high for the patient population. Results may be impacted by late treatment, poor SOC, and may be specific to local variants [science.sciencemag.org, thelancet.com]
. Per-protocol analysis shows significantly improved results in this trial, however this may be subject to bias - the probability of adherence may be related to the probability of the outcome.
Regarding the combined hospitalization/extended ER observation outcome, authors have noted that at the study sites, extended medical observation was essentially equivalent to being hospitalized. “These were not standard emergency rooms but instead were COVID-19 emergency centers that were set up due to hospitals being overloaded,” Reiersen noted in an email to The Scientist. “A stay in these centers >6 hours was an indication that the patient was receiving care equivalent to hospitalization.”
Authors state "this study is only the second study to show an important treatment benefit for a repurposed drug in the early treatment population", however the actual number is at least 66 based on our database at the time of publication, using a conservative definition of at least 10% benefit (with statistical significance).
The total dose used is less than half of that in Lenze et al. There is an unusual amount of missing data - age is unknown for 6.5% of patients according to the sub-group analysis. Both age <=50 and >50 show better results on the primary outcome than the overall result. The number of placebo patients changed significantly between the preprint and journal version. The number of treatment patients with viral clearance results reduced significantly between the preprint and journal version. Also see 
. NCT04727424 (history)
Authors do not specify if the placebo looks identical to the film-coated Luvox tablets. Reportedly there is no registration of manufacturing for matching tablets by Abbott in Brazil, and no import license for identical placebo tablets abroad. This would be an additional reason for blinding failure if the placebo tablets are not identical in appearance.
For other issues with this trial see: [, , twitter.com (D)]
Many of the issues in the companion ivermectin trial may also apply to this trial [c19ivermectin.com]
, notably the potential for significant use of an effective treatment in the placebo group [doyourownresearch.substack.com]
, which would reduce the efficacy seen.
Reis et al., 23 Aug 2021, Double Blind Randomized Controlled Trial, Brazil, peer-reviewed, 27 authors, study period 20 January, 2021 - 5 August, 2021, trial NCT04727424 (history)